Hall Of Fame

Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Firms To Watch: Aviation (including aerospace and defence)

Under the leadership of practice heads Praveen Raju and Mathew Chacko, the aviation team at Spice Route Legal has notable expertise in advising clients in the aviation and drone industries on industry-related tech matters as well as commercial contracts and cybersecurity work.

Aviation (including aerospace and defence) in India

AZB & Partners

AZB & Partners‘ ‘formidable’ aviation team has significant expertise acting for lessors, financiers, airlines, manufacturers, and airports on the full range of aviation-related matters. Anand Shah leads the practice and is a seasoned aviation expert, handling multi-jurisdictional regulatory civil aviation matters, aircraft finance, and aircraft deregistrations and repossessions; he is supported by senior associate Rishiraj Baruah. The firm strengthened its transactional offering with the 2022 arrival of Haseena Tapia Shahpurwalla, formerly at Gagrats. Shahpurwalla is dual-qualified in England & Wales and has significant experience advising airlines on aircraft and engine lease transactions. Another new addition to the team is Sarah Rufus, who joined from an in-house position at an airline in 2023. All lawyers mentioned are based in Mumbai.

Practice head(s):

Anand Shah

Other key lawyers:

Haseena Tapia Shahpurwalla; Sarah Rufus; Rishiraj Baruah


‘A great team with strength in depth. One of the premier go-to firms in India. Versatile and deep knowledge of the Indian aviation market.’

‘Anand Shah is our go-to partner, very commercial and attentive. Technically excellent and has grown a superb team of aviation associates and with the addition of their new partner Sarah Rufus makes a formidable team.’

‘The AZB team is a breath of fresh air in the challenging jurisdiction. Very responsive, and provides consistently sharp, commercial advice in a user-friendly and timely manner. The AZB team is our preferred and go-to counsel.’

‘Rishiraj Baruah: super responsive and user-friendly counsel. Provides direct advice and background to each aspect of a transaction, always provides a commercial, workable solution, and will preempt issues that may arise. Rishi knows his stuff and is a great negotiator to have on your side.’

Key clients


TATA Sons Private Limited

TATA SIA Airlines Limited (Vistara)

Air India Limited

Air India Express Limited


InterGlobe Aviation Limited (Indigo)

Zurich International Airport AG and Yamuna International Airport Private Limited

Standard Chartered Bank

Bank of America Leasing

Shannon Engine Support Ltd.

Sculptor Capital Investments, LLC

Credit Suisse AG

Willis Lease Finance Corporation

National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)

Work highlights

Kochhar & Co.

The aviation, aerospace and defence team at Kochhar & Co. advises an impressive roster of clients, including international and domestic defense companies and airlines, on the full range of sector-related matters, both contentious and advisory. The team has recently strengthened its Hyderabad offering with the arrival of senior partner and airport operations expert Kaveri Srivastava in May 2023. Another addition is Sharmil Bhushan, a key name for aircraft financing advice, who joined the firm’s Mumbai team in November 2022. Mumbai’s Sheetal Sabnis, who advises international and domestic airlines on financing, leasing, and commercial contracts, now heads the team following the 2022 departure of former co-head Ajith C.R.; 2022 also saw the departure of Nishant Menon.

Practice head(s):

Sheetal Sabnis

Other key lawyers:

Sharmil Bhushan; Kaveri Srivastava

Key clients

Air France / KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India

Bellgeo Enterprise Limited

British Airways

DNATA (Dubai National Air Travel Agency)

Emirates Airlines

Lockheed Martin Corporation

MESCO Airlines

Panasonic Avionics


Work highlights

Dentons Link Legal

The robust aviation practice at Dentons Link Legal runs the gamut of aviation and aerospace matters, handling commercial, contentious, and transactional matters for airlines, airports, contractors, and service providers across the industry. Founding partner Atul Sharma draws on in-house experience in the industry to advise on major aircraft fleet acquisitions, and is a key contact for contentious aviation matters; Anand Srivastava takes point on financing matters and large transactions, while Abhishek Sharma has extensive experience handling civil and commercial disputes for clients across the sector. The trio jointly leads the team. Also in the core team are corporate specialists Milind Jha and Namita Das. Neha Singh left the team in 2022 to go in-house, while 2023 saw the departure of litigator Milanka Chaudhury, now at Trilegal. All mentioned lawyers are based in Delhi.

Practice head(s):

Atul Sharma; Anand Srivastava; Abhishek Sharma

Other key lawyers:

Milind Jha; Namita Das

Key clients

SNV Aviation Private Limited (d/b as Akasa Air)

GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL)

SpiceJet Limited

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL)

Bangalore International Airport Limited

Big Charter Private Limited (FlyBig)

GMR Goa International Airport Limited (“GGIAL”)

WAISL Limited

Indianoil Skytanking Pvt. Ltd.

Reliance Transport & Travel

Vietnam Airlines

Work highlights


The multidisciplinary aviation team at Trilegal leverages the firm’s expertise across multiple practice areas, including corporate, commercial, dispute resolution, and construction, to provide a full-service aviation, defense, and aerospace offering. Acting for airlines, global defense companies, and investors, the group is regularly instructed on high-profile and complex investigations, transactions, and disputes. The team also has notable strength in the space, satellite, and telecoms sectors and has seen an increase in instructions here. Delano Furtado, based in Mumbai, is the key name for defense, advising large international defense manufacturers on transactional and regulatory aspects, while Gurugram’s Yogesh Singh advises international aviation companies seeking to enter the Indian market. Litigator Ashish Bhan in Delhi, is also recommended. 2023 saw litigator Milanka Chaudhury join the Delhi office from Dentons Link Legal.

Other key lawyers:

Delano Furtado; Yogesh Singh; Ashish Bhan; Milanka Chaudhury


A diverse and cohesive team with extensive domain knowledge and experience on various aspects of the regulatory framework in Indian aviation‘.

Very responsive subject matter experts and provide creative solutions.’

Key clients

AgustaWestland International Limited, UK, and Leonardo SpA

Leonardo S.p.A, Italy

Etihad Airways PJSC

ASL Airlines Switzerland AG (formerly Farnair Switzerland AG)

LNM India Internet Ventures Limited

SNV Aviation Private Limited

Tata SIA Airlines Limited (Vistara)

American Airlines, Inc.

Spare Support Solutions India Private Limited

Work highlights

  • Advises and represents AWIL and Finmeccanica (Leonardo) in the criminal proceedings instituted by the CBI and ED.
  • Assisting Etihad Airways PJSC (Etihad) in (a) the ongoing insolvency resolution process of Jet Airways (India) Limited (Jet); and (b) its customer loyalty reward program in India.
  • Advised on the transfer of shares of Quikjet Cargo Airlines Private Limited (Quikjet) by ASL Airlines Switzerland AG (ASL) to AFL Private Limited (AFL).


Gagrats‘s aviation offering has notable strength in transactional matters, advising on aircraft financing, M&A, and cross-border sales. Senior partner Rustam Gagrat and Uma Nagarajan have extensive experience in cross-border leasing, aircraft finance, and regulatory issues; the Mumbai-based duo jointly head the practice. Arpana Dhariwal is another key name for aircraft sales and leaseback.

Practice head(s):

Rustam Gagrat; Uma Nagarajan

Other key lawyers:

Arpana Dhariwal

Work highlights

HSA Advocates

HSA Advocates‘s dedicated and growing aviation practice stands out for its expertise in the defence sector, advising both international and domestic clients on market entry, regulatory matters, procurement, and licensing issues. Under the joint leadership of  New Delhi-based duo Amrita Narayan and Monali Dutta, the team draws on the firm’s broader dispute resolution, taxation, and corporate capabilities to provide a comprehensive offering across the sector.

Practice head(s):

Monali Dutta; Amrita Narayan

Key clients

Bangalore International Airport Limited

Mumbai International Airport

Work highlights

  • Advising Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) on various issues that have been challenged from the Tariff Order issued for the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumba.
  • Assisting Goldair Aviation SA in M&A Transaction for Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur
  • Assisted Airports Authority of India in a transaction.

I.L.A. Pasrich & Company

The boutique airport transport and carriage practice at I.L.A. Pasrich & Company acts for domestic and international airlines and air service companies, handling both contentious and advisory mandates with particular emphasis on employment litigation and aircraft leasing.  Head of practice Amir Singh Pasrich has extensive experience advising on the full range of regulatory, compliance, contentious, and consumer-related aviation work; aviation litigation specialist Mohana Malhotra is another key name. Both are based in New Delhi.

Practice head(s):

Amir Singh Pasrich

Other key lawyers:

Mohana Malhotra

Key clients

British Airways PLC

Swiss International Air Lines

Ashley Aviation Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Defended several passenger and cargo cases for Swiss International before a variety of courts in New Delhi, Mumbai and in other cities/towns. Secured two case dismissals and favourable orders.
  • Represented and advised an airline leasing company for lease of aircraft to an Indian operator.

ALMT Legal

ALMT Legal advises domestic and international airlines on regulatory issues, including aircraft registration and deregistration, and also handles sales, purchases, and leasing transactions. Cargo handling claims and competition law are other areas of expertise for the team, which is jointly led by dispute resolution specialist Sameer Tapia, in Mumbai, and aviation regulatory and advisory expert S.R. Arun, in Bengaluru. In August 2022, the team strengthened its aviation, asset, and structured finance offering in Mumbai with the arrival of Petrushka Dasgupta, previously at IndusLaw.

Practice head(s):

Sameer Tapia; S.R Arun

Other key lawyers:

Petrushka Dasgupta

Key clients

Ace Aviation VIII Ltd

Aviators Air Rescue Private Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Ace Aviation VIII Ltd. during the entire bidding process and the inspection process for the Aircrafts of Jet Airways including but not limited to all negotiations between the Parties.
  • Advising Aviators Air Rescue Private Limited on the restructuring of the company and their respective regular legal advice on their requirements pertaining to aviation law.
  • Assisted Aviators Air Rescue Private Limited in the drafting and finalisation of the Letter of Intent for the proposed purchase of Boeing Aircraft, encapsulating all the commercial and operational understanding between the parties.

BTG Advaya

With strength in aviation regulatory matters and airport infrastructure issues, the aviation practice at BTG Advaya acts for airport services providers, airlines, and lenders. The team is headed by Ramesh Vaidyanathan, who has in-house experience as general counsel for a major Indian airport and who advises on bids for airport infrastructure projects, airport modernisation and development, and commercial joint ventures. Mansi Singh  is the key name for regulatory and taxation issues relating to the registration and deregistration of aircraft and airline operations.

Practice head(s):

Ramesh Vaidyanathan

Other key lawyers:

Mansi Singh

Key clients

Textron Financial Corporation

Work highlights

  • Assisting Textron Financial Corporation with the deregistration and export of an aircraft from India, as well as rendering legal opinion on leasing helicopters to India, and assisting with regulatory matters.

DSK Legal

Acting for airports, cargo service providers, and international airlines, the aviation practice at DSK Legal handles financing, disputes, and regulatory matters across the aviation sector. The team has significant experience acting for the Indian government, regulatory authorities, and governmental entities, advising on policy, projects, and regulatory matters in the aviation sector. Anjan Dasgupta, Ajay Shaw, and Avinash Kumar Khard oversee the team from Mumbai, while Dinesh Pardasani and Harvinder Singh co-head from New Delhi.

Practice head(s):

Anjan Dasgupta; Ajay Shaw; Dinesh Pardasani; Harvinder Singh; Avinash Kumar Khard

Key clients

City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Limited (“CIDCO”)

GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL)

GMR Visakhapatnam International Airport Limited (GVIAL)

Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA)

Zurich International Airport AG

Cargo Service Center (India) Private Limited and Delhi Cargo Service Center Private Limited

Air India Ltd.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL)

GMR Airports Limited

Ministry of Defence

Work highlights

  • Advising GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited on the sale of 100% of its business of providing warehousing services in and around the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad, Hyderabad, to ILP Core Ventures I Pte Limited.
  • Advised Zurich Airport International AG (ZAIA) with its bid to develop a greenfield airport (Noida International Airport) at Jewar, Noida on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis.

Lumiere Law Partners

The dedicated aviation team at Lumiere Law Partners assists its clients on the full spectrum of aviation-related matters, including financing, technical agreements, crew and labour issues, and dispute resolution. Vihang Virkar and Ayesha Rai left the firm in December 2023.

Key clients

Go Airlines (India) Limited

Jazeera Airways Company K.S.C.

Ghodawat Enterprises Private Limited (Star Air)

Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways)

Babcock & Brown Air Funding

Air France

Bhutan Airlines

Alafco Irish Aircraft Leasing

Chailease International Financial Services Co., Ltd

Natixis Transport Finance

Bucephalus Air Inc.

International Financial Services Centres Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised Jazeera Airways, one of the only two airlines operating in Kuwait, in a transaction USD 120 million transaction entailing sale and lease of Airbus A 320 – 251 Neo aircraft from CDB Aviation.
  • Advised Star Air, a growing regional airline in India, in its aircraft leasing deal with Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) in respect of two Embraer 170-200 aircraft from NAC.
  • Advised Go Airlines (India) Limited in its sale and lease back transaction in respect of a number of new generation Airbus A 320 – 271 N aircraft) with SFI Aircraft Holdings XII DAC (Sky Leasing) with an approximate deal value of USD 220 million.

Wadia Ghandy & Co

The robust aviation practice at Wadia Ghandy & Co focuses on aircraft management finance and asset management, as well as the purchase, sale, and leasing of aircraft. The department is headed by Mumbai’s Marylou Bilawala, a seasoned aviation leasing expert who regularly advises lessors, financiers, and aircraft owners on regulatory, transactional, and litigation matters. The group also regularly represents aviation sector clients on regulatory issues, licensing matters, and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Marylou Bilawala


Extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of aircraft financing and leasing and the underlying Indian requirements. User friendly and responsive they are simply our go to firm each time we have a deal in India.’

Marylou Bilawala is our contact partner and heads the team. She is fantastic. Her team of associates are also very helpful.

Work highlights